In this journey on board the Tren Crucero, you will pass from the Coastal plains to the colossal Andes, experiencing one of the most dramatic changes in vegetation and scenery in the world. An amazing deed of engineering, “The Devil´s Nose” pass allows the train to overcome such an impressive task, this and many other difficulties made people name this train as “the most difficult railway of the world”.
From the fertile plains of the coast, you will climb up to the highlands of the Andes through the mythical Devil’s Nose pass. Riding through the Avenue of Volcanoes, you will reach Quito, a dazzling city recognized by UNESCO as a Cultural World Heritage Site city. On the last day of this journey you will visit the town of Otavalo, in the folds of the northern Andes Mountains, where you will explore the Quichua culture, skills and traditions of its people. Lunch will be served at one of Ecuador´s most ancient haciendas and in the evening you will return to Quito after finishing this amazing trip across the Andes.
Day 1 – Saturday
Durán – Yaguachi – Naranjito – Bucay (L.D)
Our journey to the Andes begins in Duran train station where we will board a convoy pulled by a carefully restored steam locomotive. The roaring engine, steam whistles and steel wheels over the railways will take us back in time to the early XIX century and the adventurous experience that is the Tren Crucero.
Our first stop is Yaguachi, were we will switch engines to continue our trip across vast plantations of sugar cane, banana, rice and pineapple until we reach the Naranjito station.
A short bus transfer will take us to a local hacienda were we will learn about the cocoa bean and we will be part of the chocolate making process. Ecuadorian cocoa beans are considered to be the best of the world and you would have the opportunity to taste them while we visit the hacienda.
In the afternoon a “montubio” show will welcome us before we taste the delicious food of the coast of Ecuador.
A bus transfer will take us to Bucay were we will take a hike around the tropical forest, home of countless plants, birds and orchids that will marvel us with their different sizes and exuberant colours.
We will check in at our hotel and prepare for dinner.
Day 2 – Sunday
Bucay – The Devil’s Nose – Riobamba (B,L,D)
Our next day adventure continues by bus when we climb the Andes on a pleasant 4 hours drive. During this ride we will look at the amazing changes in, landscape from the peaceful green plains of the coast to the colossal Andean mountains that cast their shadows on the road. Our destination is the town of Alausi were we will embark on a thrilling adventure on board the famous Devil´s Nose train.
Upon arrival at Alausi Train station we will join a restored XX century convoy and we will start our trip to the Devil´s Nose pass, a 450-meter descend in barely 12 kilometres on a zig-zagging railway that allows the locomotive to pull forwards and backwards the convoy to reach its destination, Sibambe train station. At Sibambe a colourful Andean community ballet will welcome us. Many are the histories that tell us why this pass was baptized as La Nariz del Diablo or The Devil´s Nose, from the shape of the mountain that awakens our imagination to the number of human lives that took to overcome this nearly impossible obstacle.
After our thrilling adventure of The Devil´s Nose, we will take a bus ride to Guamote. Lunch will be served on board and afterwards we will continue or journey north to Colta were an impressive steam engine locomotive known as “The Black Monster” will be waiting for us. This huge steam engine was carefully overhauled and is strong enough to pull convoys over the railways of the Andes where the altitude and lack of oxygen makes this a titanic task. Once we arrive to Riobamba a bus transfer will take us to our hotel for a delicious meal and a good night sleep.
Day 3 – Monday
Riobamba – Urbina – Quito (B,L,D)
We depart for Urbina train station, the highest point in our itinerary at 3,600 metres above sea level. There, on the eastern flanks of the Chimborazo Volcano, we meet the fascinating last ice merchant, Baltazar Ushca, to tell the tale of his ancestral trade.
We continue north across the Avenue of Volcanoes a term coined by Alexander Von Humboldt due to the impressive number of volcanoes present in this part of the Andean mountain range. In between the two flanks of the Andes colourful valleys extend for many miles, offering you unique landscapes along the way.
While our train continues making its way up north the devils will take over the train. A picturesque and ancestral tradition the “Diablada Pillareña” parade will add a touch of joy and music to this beautiful day.
Under the watchful eyes of the Cotopaxi our train will makes its way to of the local haciendas to take part on the daily farm activities. At the hacienda we will be greet by the “chagras” the cowboys of the Andes, who will share part of their culture with you.
We arrive to Quito train Station located in the traditional neighbourhood of Chimbacalle were a bus will be waiting for us to take us to our hotels for dinner and a peaceful night at this UNESCO Cultural Heritage City.
Day 4 – Tuesday
Quito – Otavalo – Ibarra – Quito
Our journey continues in the morning with a 2 hours bus ride north across rose plantations and charming mountains that seem to be patched up in different colours by the many plantations along the way. Our destination will be the valley of Otavalo in the Imbabura Province. Otavalo is home of ancient cultures, skilled craftspeople and the world-renowned Otavalo market.
We arrive at San Roque Train station where we will embark a panoramic convoy on a journey full of hidden wonders, musicians, painters, weavers and the skilful woodcarvers who keep the complicated Quito School of Art style alive. Delve yourself into this amazing world of colours and textures while we explore the northern routes of the Ecuadorian railway.
After our train trip we will visit Hacienda la Compania, located close to the equatorial line, this XVIII century hacienda will amaze you with its export-class rose plantation and exquisite Andean cuisine. After lunch we will return to Quito.
|Transportation aboard Tren Crucero||Taxes|
|Snacks and soft drinks on board||Meals and excursions not included in the program|
|All meals during the trip||Air tickets|
|Guide in Spanish and English||Personal expenses|
|Excursions according to the itinerary||Passengers are recommended to purchase travel insurance|
|For Gold Class travelers, all transfers to hotels are included||Land transpotation to the train|
|Transportation by bus/van during the program for excursions and accommodation based on double occupancy||gratuities or transfers to hotels different from the ones listed here|
|In the Quito to Guayaquil route, once the train has arrived at Duran station (Guayaquil), you will be transferred to the hotel for overnight||alcoholic beverages (Tren Crucero offers wine, beer and whiskey)|
CLOTHING: Wear layers: a jacket for cold weather and a light coat for the rain (coast). Comfortable walking shoes, hat, sunscreen with high SPF, repellant, sunglasses. Don’t forget your camera!
ALTITUDE: It ranges from 80 to 3,610 meters above sea level. The temperature ranges from 14 ° to 35 °C.
IMPORTANT: Duran station is 30 minutes away from Guayaquil. Take it into account to ensure you arrive on time for check-in. In Quito, Swissôtel is located in the city of Quito, Avenida 12 de Octubre y Luis Cordero. Unusued services are not refunded. Consult with our sales department about the possibility of boarding Tren Crucero Train of Wonders (southbound) in Otavalo.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: All itineraries are subjected to change due to force majeure or technical, operational circumstances. Please check our policy regarding refunds and cancellations. At Tren Ecuador we are committed to providing the best possible travel experience.
Terms & Conditions
If you cancel at least 10 days in advance of the tour departure, it won’t incur in any cancellation fee. If you cancel between 5 and 9 days in advance of the tour departure, there is a 50% cancellation fee. If you cancel within 4 days of the tour departure, there is a 100% cancellation fee.